HONG KONG -- Shares in Hong Kong conglomerate Wharf (Holdings) are holding steady near the previous day's closing level, with investors polarized over the possible fate of its telecommunications business.
Rumors emerged on Monday that the company, which engages in real estate development, among other things, is mulling whether to sell its telecommunications unit, one of its core businesses. There is also speculation that Wharf is looking for a partner rather than a buyer. Caught in the middle, and amid a growing wait-and-see mood, investors pulled the shares in both directions. The stock ended Tuesday up 0.11%.
According to a report by a local news outlet on Tuesday, Wharf, a unit of Wheelock, itself a Hong Kong-based conglomerate, is inviting bids for its telecommunications and media businesses. Companies that have expressed interest in the deal include U.S. investment fund Kohlberg Kravis Roberts as well as mainland China insurers Anbang Insurance Group and Ping An Insurance Group, the report said. Hong Kong's SmarTone Telecommunications was also counted among potential suitors.
Bidding could begin this month, according to the report. The telecommunications unit may fetch as much as $1 billion, it said.